Watercooling my MakerGear Prusa RepRap
Delta RepRap using both belts and Spectra fishing line

I got a mosquito hammock this week for $30 from woot

This is pretty cheap. After I ordered it, I realized how short it was – it's six inches shorter than the one I already have. Short hammocks and tall people make for an uncomfortable night's sleep. So I decided to try to cheat the length a bit. I converted it to a Mini bridge hammock. Some amsteel rope dogbones, a pair of spreader bars, and it's a non-damaging modification. I think it worked. I slept in it as it came, and after the modification and I like the mod. It's much more comfortable. Not perfect, I find my feet tend to rest against the netting.

Next project. Down underquilt.

In album Miniature Bridge Hammock modification

My girls hanging out in my new Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock

It’s a clear tarp for me for the hammocks. Window winterizing film, duck tape & patience to make one.

This is how the hammock came. A rope (which stretches a lot the first night you use it) fed through the channel and closed on itself. Here, I’ve had to run it back up to the metal connector so tighten the hammock at 3 am so I wasn’t dragging on the ground anymore. Notice how tightly it bunches the end of the hammock up. The thin line is the stretch cord for holding up the bug net part of the hammock.

This is a miniature bridge hammock. The idea is to make the ends wider so it squeezes against the shoulders less. It is also supposed to reduce the tightness up the center under the legs that can cause discomfort.

I made 4 amsteel dogbones. These are just short ropes with eyes on both ends. I sized these so they are short as they can be and have the right length bury that nearly touches in the center.

Try to make all 4 the same length.

The amsteel dogbone is fed through the hole in the wood, fed through the hammock and  the loop slipped over the end of the wood. Do this from each side.

It’s easier to pull the new rope through as you are pulling the old rope out. (trust me  I know)

But it’s easier to untie if you put the old rope to the new, and not the new rope to the old. Oohps.

The hammock is clipped into the rope that it hangs from.

The offset in the carabiner can be used to advantage in counteracting any differences in the length of the amsteel dogbones.

This is with the original mounting method.

This is the girls swinging in the new method. Notice how the end of the hammock forms a gentile curve.

The hanging hardware that came with the hammock – both sides.

The new hanging hardware weighs 2 grams more. Now, this is a cheating weight, as it doesn’t include the carabiners.

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I made a new wallet last night

A coworker has had some pretty thin ones over the years, folded tyvek, and currently a big skinny brand one that's really nice. 

I've been wanting one of those stainless steel ones for a few years now, but they are much more money then I am willing to spend.

So I decided to make my own wallet. Out of garbage, of course. Well, I did buy the leather in a 3lb pack from Hobby Lobby, but the piece I used looks like it was cut for a vest maybe? The Tyvek is from a mailing envelope from 1997, the clear pocket is from a plastic cover from an old report. The RFID shielding is a motherboard static protection bag. I collect old junk just for projects such as this.

The design of this one is wider and taller then a bifold or trifold. It is a bifold wallet, but has 2 pockets per face. This means you only keep half the cards in a given thickness. There is also no extra pockets separating the cards, so no extra bulk for that either. Just stack the cards. 

I have the thinness of a tyvek wallet with the finish of a leather wallet. It can bend in the middle, contouring by butt better. I think I am really liking this so far.

The next one, I would sew the card pockets onto just 1 layer of the folded center piece rather then through both. This one give a nicer finish on the inside of the bill area. I would also cut the leather a bit bigger so I can roll the edges and sew through 2 layers of leather for a nicer edge finish. Also, mark on the BACK side of the Tyvek. I kept marking on the front side even though I know better!

I also like keeping fortune cookie fortunes in my wallet. So I may have some clear pockets just for my fortunes. I also carry SD cards, so I will have pockets for that as well.

In album Thin Wide RFID blocking Tyvek & Leather Wallet

It doesn’t look too much bigger this way, right?

My wallet is too fat. It’s slowly grown thicker in pace with my belly. Something has got to change. The wallet is the easier thing to make thinner.

An old Tyvek mailer envelope (From 1997!) a bit of scrap leather, my sewing machine, and about 3 hours….

No plans, just an idea, and a standard sized card to use as a template.

I used an old motherboard static bag for the RFID blocking layer. It’s sandwiched in the divider to deflect enough energy to keep the cards from activating and broadcasting. In theory. I don’t know if it works or not.

4 pockets, one of which is clear sewn onto the tyvek holding the static bag bit.

Trying to get the size of the leather right for the pockets.

Just a quick and dirty build. Trying to proof the concept and the sizes. I will probably make another one in a few months once I gauge how long this one will last.

Leather looks to be big enough to cover the inside pockets.

Binder clips. I don’t know how people did leather work before these things where invented. I love these things.

The leather is bigger then the liner, and needs an unsewn gap at the fold so it can open up correctly.

I sewed the leather on by hand with a glovers needle.

The wood block is for poking the needle down through the layers on so I don’t stab myself or the table. The pliers are to pull the needle through the rest of the way – it likes catching at the eye.

One side sewn up. Not very neat stitching, but it should hold it together.

I found it easier to sew with a card in each pocket. No wonder my wallet is so thick! I carry a metal plate for sharpening knives in it.

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I decided to 'fix' a blanket I got from freecycle

It is a military wool blanket. I love wool blankets for camping and hanging out outdoors. I don't much care for the olive green – even though green is my favorite color.
So I dyed one side of if grey. I couldn't find anybody else online (just a short search) that dyes a single side of a blanket. So I made it up as I went along. I'd picked up some Dharma Trading 'Twilight grey' and basically painted it on for lack of better description. 
Normally you soak whatever you want to dye, but that will get the whole thing. So I mixed up the dye, water, vinegar (a mordant, helps the acid dye work) and a bit later, soap, for better 'wetting' of the blanket.
I am really, really impressed with how it turned out.

In album Dye single side of wool blanket

The green is still green, the grey, is a dark forest green.

Something I’ve done with the grey blanket is made it more water resistant.

water beaded up in the center, soaked in on the lower right.

I’d treated the grey blanket last year with lanolin. The oil that naturally occurs in wool while the sheep are wearing it, It’s what keeps sheep dry in the rain. In one context it seems silly that it’s taken out, but the wool can’t be dyed with it still in the fibers. So I add it back, and make the blanket more water resistant.

I am dying my green wool blanket grey.

I am spraying the dye on. I am using a spray bottle rescued from the recycling. It works just as good as the ones that cost $3 – probably because it did cost $3, but full, not empty.

I mixed up the dye, vinegar, and water into a juice container rescued from the recycling, and poured it in a little at a time with the funnel. The second batch I added a bit of dish soap to ‘wet’ the wool. The dye spray was beading on the fibers, the soap helps it soak deeper into the fabric.

The light grey in the upper right is the dye as sprayed on. I worked it into the blanket surface so I got better contact with the fibers instead of the spray just sitting on top of the blanket.

I want a mildly dappled effect, so I heavily dappled the blanket with the dye. It spreads out, so the effect is much more subtle when dried.

I hope…

In order to set the dye, I microwaved the blanket while it was still damp. I misted the dye side with the dye right before folding it dye side together and rolling it up. Microwave the daylights out of it in couple minute bursts.  I took it out, and re-rolled it with what was on the inside on the outside so I get even steaming of the dye.

I re-folded the blanket and nuked it some more. It was probably cooking a dozen 2 minute bursts.

I stuck it into a kidde pool to wash. This is the moment of truth… did the dye bind to the wool or will it leach out?

The water just barely tinted, so the dye fixed to the wool! YAY!

Hanging to dry. The color is better than I expected. I really like the dappled effect, very subtle.

The still-damp blanket in the house. I really really like the dappled effect on the folded blanket.

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So much for riding my bike to work for the next three years.

Not that I’ve ridden in the last 3 years, but once the Maple Street reconstruction was done, I was seriously thinking about it.

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The RepRap revolution started 6 years ago, today.

6 years ago, today is when the first ‘child’ printer was created.

6 years ago, today, the RepRap revolution started.

RepRaps, or Reproducing Rapid Prototypers are 3d printers that are designed in such a way that you can use one to make a copy of itself. The goal is to be able to use ‘stuff’ that is easily available locally. Today, I could make one using parts bought from Radio Shack, Home Depot, Walmart, and junk inkjet printers sitting in people’s closets, and my existing 3d printer. It’s easier and cheaper to order parts of ebay, but I can cobble one together after a couple hour bike ride.

The hardware is open source -  that means I can download, view, edit, and distribute my changes to the machine for free & legally.

The software is open source – that means I can download, view, edit, and distribute my changes to the software for free & legally.

There are thousands of people who are actively making tweaks and adjustments to the printers & software every single day. Thousands of people who are making these 3d printers better, every day, just for the fun of it.

6 years ago today, the first RepRap begat the 2nd RepRap and the world changed forever.

My college, MSOE, had the largest Rapid Prototyping lab in the world at that time if memory serves correctly. They had millions of dollars in equipment. I remember walking past the glassed windowed RPC and looking at the cool stuff they where making there. Engines for GM, hands for NASA to fit gloves, skulls to solve murder mysteries.

2 years ago, I got my first RepRap for as much money as the TV in my living room – http://mike.creuzer.com/2012/02/i-ordered-my-3d-printer-last-weekend.html. I ordered a kit of parts, and built it over the course of 2 days with help from strangers who where also putting their printers together at the same time.

6 years ago today, RepRaps started a revolution that made 3d printers accessible to me, in my home. My children will grow up never not knowing having having easy access to 3d printers. In their home. My dad remembers when he got indoor plumbing growing up, I remember when our house got it’s own phone number and not a shared number with several of the neighbors. My kids will never not remember a 3d printer or two in their house. This blows my mind. The paradigm shift in their thought processes is revolutionary - http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/07/bella-printed-a-missing-part-for-one-of-her-toys.html.

I’ve come up with a few ideas of my own – hybrid drivelines http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/04/delta-reprap-using-both-belts-and-spectra-fishing-line.html, hooking up my printer to my fish tank http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/01/watercooling-my-makergear-prusa-reprap.html, and a temp monitoring idea across the printer as a hole.

The people who have made the RepRap revolution possible deserve much gratitude. I’ve been able to meet in person many of the ‘key’ people who have made RepRaps possible – the (re)designers of the hardware, the (re)designers of the firmware, the (re)designers of the electronics.

Today, today is Mr. Bowyer’s day. Thank you. We will probably never meet in person, but you have changed my life & my children’s life. For that, Thank you.

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I picked up a new 'backpack' this weekend

227 grams, without the two dinky water bottles it came with.

It's going to be challenging to get a 3 day trek into this itty bitty waist bag. Warm weather trips only.

My last weekend trek last fall, water became a problem, so this is probably a bit water-focused.

I am making 2 leather pouches for the Sawyer Squeeze Mini water filter and the cleaning syringe. One tucked into each side next to the water bottles. I cut the 'straw' down so it fits inside the back of the syringe handle. The squeeze bag fits inside the pack.

The kids are getting the half liter water bottles that came with this bag. I am replacing them with larger bottles. The silver bottle pictured will likely be my Berky Sports bottle once I find it. The green bottle in the black sleeve has a soup can it is nested with for a cook pot.

I am making a new 8.5' square tarp out of a window insulation kit. This will eat up the bulk of the pack. Cordage to pitch the tarp are 25' and 10 foot pieces of Amsteel Blue (silver colored) wrapped around the outside of the pack and held on with a soft shackle. Also will have several lengths of braided mason line.

Other items include:
A SOL 1-2 person space blanket or two for sleeping.
A disposable clear rain poncho in case it rains.
A bug head net.
2 citronella tea light candles.
My new LED headlamp with the 3d printed red lens.
A norwex towl (my wife can't stand the feeling of them).
A long sleeve polyester shirt.

I need to make a 'repair kit' with neosporin, tape, a needle and thread, a bit of wire and the like. Stuff to keep me and my gear walking.

Sticking it all on a scale at the moment, 1610g or 3.5 lbs.

What am I missing for packing out my new 'bag'?

In album 2014-05-26

My new waist bag. I like the color and that it can hold 2 water bottles. I have some amsteel rope wrapped around it. I am making a pair of leather pouches for holding the Sawyer Squeeze Mini water filter parts.

The leather pouch on the right side will be added and a mate to it on the other side.

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My eldest and I made some wild Violet tincture from the flowers in the back yard…

My eldest and I made some wild Violet tincture from the flowers in the back yard this weekend. It's been 4 years since we bought the house, so whatever nasty gunk the priors may be sprayed in the yard ought to be dramatically reduced at this point.

Pick the flowers in the back yard as I mow with the new (to me) electric mower. Easier to find the flowers that way.

6 weeks before we can use it. I made a small jar for me, and a larger jar for a friend, the one I get my essential oils from.

In album Backyard Wildcrafting Violet Flower Tincture

One jar made, one jar to go. The bucket of flowers dispersed into the two jars.

My assistant. She thought it was lots of fun to make medicine from the back yard. Starting to talk about not eating things picked unless daddy is with and says it’s ok.

My assistant knocking the bubbles out of the tincture.

She likes the purple flowers.

The vodka is poured into the left, but not the right jar.

Pretty! I’ve read it will turn yellow to green in 6 weeks depending on the PH of the final product.

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I recently purchased an Ozark Trail LED Headlamp to replace one I left at my folk's…

I recently purchased an Ozark Trail LED Headlamp to replace one I left at my folk's place. I was hoping for a AA headlamp, but walmart doesn't sell those anymore, so I got the cheapest AAA one they had as it sported the longest battery life.

It doesn't have the features of the other lamps, like a red LED lamp.

So here is my attempt to fix this. Print the cover in something like Red Taulman T-Glase to create a red filter for this light. Attach it with a rubber band or some other method as deemed appropriate.

This particular model is Walmart SKU 1742701068

Length: 2.1 inch – 5.3cm Width: 1.6 inch – 4.1cm Depth: 1.3 inch – 3.3 cm Weight 1.5oz – 43g Weight with batteries: 2.8oz – 78g

High = 50 lumens for 15 hours at 20 meters range
Low = 10 lumens for 91 hours at 9 meters range

I've posted the printable files at https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/tree/master/OzarkTrail50LumenAAALEDHeadLamp in-case anybody else wanted to print a copy of the lens.

In album Headlamp Mods

I recently purchased an Ozark Trail LED Headlamp to replace one I left at my folk’s place. I was hoping for a AA headlamp, but walmart doesn’t sell those anymore, so I got the cheapest AAA one they had as it sported the longest battery life.

A bit of time designing, and a bit of time printing with Red Taulman T-Glase

This is my favorite, but I am going to make it longer so the ‘fingers’ reach each other in back and can hook onto each other.

I now have a red lens cover for the headlamp.

Length: 2.1 inch – 5.3cm Width: 1.6 inch – 4.1cm Depth: 1.3 inch – 3.3 cm Weight 1.5oz – 43g Weight with batteries: 2.8oz – 78g

High = 50 lumens for 15 hours at 20 meters Low = 10 lumens for 91 hours at 9 meters

Three white LED bulbs, switch on top. Definitely NOT water proof like my missing one.

The red is so clear it’s hard to see the finished print on the printer.

A couple of different styles to attach, trying to see what I like best.

The elastic held better then the fingers, but it’s parts I can loose, and then what?

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Late May Snow

Last Friday morning, we got a lot of snow. HUGE flakes. Driving across Iowa, I saw what I would guess was 2 inches of snow – on the freshly planted fields.

I wonder what this will do for food prices this year…

In album 2014-05-20

Big flakes in the front yard

Trucklet is getting covered in snow

The size of the flakes amazed me

Iowa got nearly 2 inches of snow.

I hope my tomato plant makes it…

Wet Snow

My front yard

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I was entrusted with the care and feeding of a Sinar Monorail 4×5 Large Format Field…

I was entrusted with the care and feeding of a Sinar Monorail 4×5 Large Format Field Camera and darkroom compliment. Basically, it's mine to use, not mine to sell. 

I need to remodel my basement bathroom a bit in order to seal off the light so I can use it as a dark room. I am waiting for the water heater to finish dying before I do that. It's halfway there… but that's a different story.

On to this story.

I made a film holder for my cell phone for the big camera. I think it's the first time a cell phone has been loaded into one of these cameras like a piece a

I was hoping to get the camera focus and the film focus in the exact same spot. I am close, but not quite right on my first try. Gives me something to fiddle with when I print the next iteration.

Basically I have a cell phone case with a small lens embedded in it that allows a cell phone to capture a very small portion of the 4×5 image area on the Sinar camera.

This thing is a powerful macro lens! It captures an area about the size of a quarter from 7 feet away.

I have files if you want to print your own at https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/tree/master/Sinar%204×5%20Monorail%20Large%20Format%20Camera I am probably going to make a iPhone case next for a friend to play with this camera and teach me a few things.

In album Cell Phone Sinar Fuschia Flower

I like this cropped, but otherwise un-edited photo.

The girls LOVE the camera. It’s the kind that is shown on cartoons, so of course it’s the bestest camera ever!

Cell Phone ‘film’ for the Sinar large format camera. This is a 3d printed ‘cell phone case’ that is also a film holder for the old-school Field Camera.

Over 7 feet. I am getting about 2X life size on the camera screen from 7 feet away. That’s just crazy to me!

A couple of shots of me hand-holding the cell phone with the CDROM laser lens to the camera lens through the Sinar camera at a box in the kitchen. This is a soda box at about 20 feet. Some SERIOUS ZOOMAGE going on here.

This is what the cell phone sees mounted to the back of a Sinar monorail 4×5 large format field camera. The cell phone can’t really focus on anything in particular and sees a lot of the inside of the camera.

With the CD-ROM laser lens installed, the cell phone seems to want to work ‘right’ as far as the Sinar camera is concerned. You can get some motions out of the camera and the cell phone doesn’t seem to want to loose the image.

This is looking at a computer speaker at about 4 foot away. That is a little brass screw.

You can see that the cell phone can see some of the CD-ROM lens and gives that weird circle in the lower  right of this photo. The image is actually upside down, in true field camera fashion.

I just love the texture and lens aberrations that this arrangement produces.

I modeled a 4×5 film holder in openscad and printed it to make sure I had it right. https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/tree/master/Sinar%204×5%20Monorail%20Large%20Format%20Camera

Here I am printing a 4×5 film holder cell phone case with a spot for a CDROM laser lens.

This is the CD-ROM laser lens installed into the 4×5 film holder cell phone case.

My 2 options that I’ve made for connecting a camera to a camera. I can bolt up a 35mm or a cell phone now. Next, I think I want to make a flatbed scanner adapter to pull full frame images off of the Sinar 4×5 Large Format camera.

These are the 3 options I have for loading ‘film’ into the Sinar.

I set up this quick ‘studio’ in the laBOREtory so I could take some photos of the flowers.

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